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Health & Balance

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Afternoon Energy Boosters

Feeling lazy after lunchtime? Follow these tips for beating the afternoon energy slump.

More Energy-Boosting Tips continued...

Another option: shed some light on the subject. A study published in 2006 found that brief (about 20 minutes) exposure to a bright white light increased alertness and boosted the brain's responses." Melatonin can't be produced in the presence of bright light," Breus tells WebMD. "If you know you usually feel sleepy around 2:30 or 3 p.m., go out for a walk around 2:15."

What about closing your door and taking a nap? It's tempting. "Catnaps are great -- unless you have insomnia. There's evidence now showing that the last time you were asleep affects how long it takes you to fall asleep at night," says Breus. But if you aren't struggling to sleep at night, a quick catnap can help with that energy crash midafternoon. Just don't sleep too long! The length of the nap will determine how good you feel. About 20 minutes works quite well, but much longer than that and you will wake up feeling terrible."

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Reviewed on December 20, 2007

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